On the Rise: Cybercrime and Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency assets exist in decentralized and autonomous online environments that are not governed by banks or governments. While this makes them more accessible, it also makes them more vulnerable to cybercrime.
Hackers can take advantage of trading platforms to steal money. Cryptojacking, phishing, ransomware attacks, and extortion are common ways for them to steal cryptocurrency.
Did you know that during ransomware attacks, cybercriminals prefer to use cryptocurrency as their preferred method of exchange?
With ransomware, there is a common pattern. Cybercriminals can hide their identities while demanding cryptocurrency in exchange for a ransom payment. They also have the ability to convert cryptocurrency to traditional forms without being detected. Cybercriminals benefit from the ease with which they can operate in the cryptocurrency domain, making it all the more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
How Does Cryptocurrency Impact a Company’s Security?
In the world of cryptocurrency, cybercriminals can easily become virtually untraceable. Without fear of being apprehended, they can target any business and demand a ransom payment in a digital currency.
There is no way to track down the criminals who use cryptocurrency. Cybercrime has become a significant threat as an increasing number of businesses accept cryptocurrency.
Examine one such maneuver to demonstrate how hackers maintain their anonymity.
The blockchain is a distributed ledger system that includes an anonymous cryptocurrency.
In this case, the ransom is paid using a “cryptocurrency mixer,” which pools funds from other users.
If mixer operators are found to have laundered illegally obtained funds, which is not illegal in and of itself, they may be held liable.
For cybercriminals, cryptocurrency has emerged as a new preferred method of money laundering.
Another way to maintain anonymity is to use a cryptocurrency exchange to convert the ransom payment to another cryptocurrency.
Money mules can be hired on dark web forums to withdraw Bitcoins from specific accounts while staying anonymous and untraceable.
The Amount of Cryptocurrency That Has Been Stolen
As the value of cryptocurrencies has increased, so has the amount of ransom demanded by hackers.
According to blockchain analysis firm Chainanalysis Inc., ransomware attacks peaked in the digital currency domain in 2020, when victims paid attackers more than $406 million in cryptocurrency. According to the firm, cybercriminals stole at least $81 million from victims this year.
Businesses have allegedly paid millions more in undisclosed ransoms, according to cybersecurity firms. Individuals and businesses with cybercrime insurance might be more willing to pay ransoms. This is why ransomware cybercriminals actively seek out targets who have insurance in order to increase their chances of receiving payment.